Since the coronavirus outbreak, our lives and family structure have dramatically changed, in more ways than one. Whether you are still in quarantine or starting to head back to work, it is no doubt that you are spending more time at home than ever before. For many, this means reevaluating the spaces you live in order to adjust to a new lifestyle.
According to Lucy Vo, clinical psychologist and founder of the Social Growth Center, when the space you spend time in is cluttered or chaotic, your physical and mental health and personal relationships are negatively impacted. Because of this, it’s no surprise that when you take the time to declutter your space, you are also decluttering your mind. Vo notes that some of the benefits of creating an environment that is structured and organized include “better sleep, less stress, improved relationships, increased productivity and reduction of depression and anxiety.” Who wouldn’t want that?
To help start you out on your decluttering journey, here are some of the best products to curate a stress-free environment, as well as advice from home organizing pros Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, co-founders of The Home Edit, and Amy Tokos, founder of Freshly Organized, LLC and president-elect for National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.
Not sure where to even begin? Shearer and Teplin believe that you should start with mini-projects like a single drawer and then move your way up. “These areas are less time-consuming and still give you the same reward — or as we call them, gold stars. It’s those bite-sized victories that will keep you going.”
Let’s take your junk drawer to start. For an easy transformation, add a drawer insert. This sustainable hardwood drawer insert is perfect for separating anything from utensils to office supplies. Complete with rubber feet in order to stay put, this accessory is available in three configurations in order to adjust to your needs: cooking utensils, flatware and multi-purpose. What’s also cool about this insert is that no two pieces are exactly the same, meaning it would look beautiful with anything cabinetry in your kitchen that is between white and walnut.
Once you have tackled the first drawer, you can move on to your cabinets and pantry, spaces that you probably use most frequently in your house. This organizer is perfect for optimizing space with its large bins and pullout function. Now you can reach even the darkest corners of cabinets. With built-in labels on the divider, you are able to sort anything from cleaning materials to school supplies. Finally, no more creating a mess just to find the extra sponge.
Another easy space to organize is backs and bottoms of drawers and cabinets. This is because that’s where all your low use items typically hang out, “making it easy to pull and get rid of what you no longer need,” Tokos says. Once everything has been cleaned out, then you are ready to organize.
With this set of adjustable sliding cabinet organizers, you are able to keep your space clean and eliminate future items from piling up. All you have to do is peel back the double sided mounting tape (included) and place in the position you want. Once you have loaded it up with your kitchen or bathroom supplies, the easy-glide design makes it so you never have to hurt your back scouring for items ever again.
When it comes to organizing your food pantry, Shearer and Teplin say that it helps “to think in terms of zones, aka the boundaries for containment.” This is because it will not just give you a roadmap of where certain items live, but it “will also hold you accountable when you are exceeding this space.”
To solve this problem, try sorting your non-perishables in your pantry into designated containers, such as granola bars, oatmeal, chips, etc. These stacking pantry bins are designed specifically for that with a wide open design and integrated handles. You can also stack multiple on top of each other in order to truly maximize your space.
Although there is nothing wrong with hoarding shoe boxes filled with stuff, you might want to think about a sleeker upgrade for keeping things out of sight (and out of mind). These small collapsible storage boxes from Periea make it easy to organize towels, shoes, you name it. Worried about tucking the bin away and never seeing the items again? With a window panel on front and a small window panel on side, you know exactly what is in each box and can get it easily with the sleek zipper panel on top and front. The best part? It has a collapsible design in order to optimize space when the box is empty.
A simple way to fight clutter is to find items that are easy to store when you aren’t using them such as this collapsible laundry basket. Even though this basket is large enough to hold two full loads of laundry, it collapses flat for easy storage at the end of use. It is also super lightweight, yet sturdy, with rubber handles that make carrying a load no issue. If you still aren’t sold, the basket is also ventilated to prevent smells. Now, that is a laundry basket of the future.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the idea of organizing your closet, Tokos says changes don’t need to be huge. Something as small as looking at your hangers can be the first step to decluttering. These universal slim, space-saving hangers (pack of 50) with cascading hooks are perfect to maintain a clean closet. No more fumbling around to find “the good hangers.”
Still need to get rid of stuff? Try to use signals, Tokos says, to figure out what you need to get rid of. “Turn all your hangers backwards. Turn them the correct way after you wear an item. This is a clear signal of what could be removed from your collection of clothing.”
If you like to cook or spend a lot of time in the kitchen, one of the most satisfying (and daunting) places to organize is the spice drawer or cabinet. With this 4 tiered spice rack, it makes it easy to do so with all of your spices in one place. All you have to do is open your cabinet. There really is no easier access. Made with metal mesh, this durable spice rack fits most size containers (up to 36 jars, to be exact,) so nothing gets left out. Just mount the shelf, add your spices and praise yourself for accomplishing the task and you are good to go.
Available only at the Container Store, this customizable Lazy Susan is the key to an effortlessly organized shelf. Made from ultra durable clear Resipreme plastic and removable dividers, this product is made to store anything from bath necessities to kitchen condiments. Just place the dividers depending on the contents of the bin, and you mold the space to your needs. The Lazy Susan includes a removable bin and four removable dividers.
Tokos, who has been in the organizing industry for over a decade, says that the best way to organize messy areas is to take it 15 minutes at a time. “The key is to do a little each day so it’s easy and not overwhelming. Stop when the timer goes off. This will make it easier to create the daily rhythm. It also makes it easier to do a second day if you know it will really only be 15 minutes,” she says.
Have a lot of jewelry or makeup taking up a random bathroom drawer? Use one of your daily 15 minutes for an easy transformation with the Sorbus makeup & jewelry storage case. Made of durable acrylic, this spacious four-drawer storage case with removable mesh padding is a simple alternative way to store and organize products you use frequently.